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Monday, November 14, 2011

StanChart to use social media sites to improve customer service

Chennai, Nov. 14:Have a complaint against a service or product of Standard Chartered Bank? Post it on Facebook or Twitter for quick action.

The bank will soon start using such social medium Web sites to improve customer service and solve the problems of a completely new set of online customers who are hooked on to such Web sites most part of the day.

The bank's technology group based out of Chennai will launch a pilot project to use social media networks to ‘listen' to what customers are saying about the bank. “It could be good or bad we need to react immediately,” said Ms Jaya Vaidhyanathan, Executive Vice-President and Head of Technology and Strategic Transformation at Scope International Pvt Ltd. This group is responsible for providing technology solutions to the bank globally.

At present, a customer can make a complaint through a phone call, e-mail, SMS or by filling up the complaint form. The use of social media Web sites will be the latest in the list.

For instance, during 2010-11, Standard Chartered India received 3,384 complaints ranging from operational errors to incorrect information and authorisation (of cards), according to information available in the bank's Web site.

‘Powerful medium'

“Social media is a powerful medium to ignore. Some of our competitors are also testing this medium, which will also help us to reach the GenY (young people aged between 15 and 25),” she told Business Line.

On why the bank has to take a serious note on Web sites such as Facebook and Twitter, Ms Vaidhyanathan said any adverse comment by a customer can affect the bank's brand badly, as the message could go viral.

The bank will have a dedicated page on Facebook. A customer can register a complaint, say, the debit card is not working. Alternatively, a customer can post a comment or complaint on Twitter.

The system in the bank will immediately pick up the key word Standard Chartered and send an alert to the system that is tracking online complaints for further action. “We can also monitor the key words associated with the bank easily on the Internet,” she said.

The use of social media Web sites need not be confined to complaints alone but can be used effectively for marketing new products or services.

According to Ms Vaidhyanathan, the bank plans to use social medium networking to connect to the Web; put content for online customers to read; use the platform for marketing various products and ‘listen' to customers' feedbacks. “With so much of data with us, we can do a lot of analytics to provide the right type of products to the target customers,” she said.
Tech matters

The technology group headed by Ms Vaidhyanathan is critical for the bank's operations — right from technology lifecycle of business requirement to gathering data and analytics.

With around 5,000 employees, the group supports over 850 applications of the bank. Of these, over 500 applications are internally developed and 25 per cent are critical.

The group along with centres in China, Malaysia and Singapore remotely operates over 10,000 servers, 10,000 network devices, one lakh network ports and over 250 firewalls. It also supports over 95,000 desktops and laptops and every month around 150,000 service desk interactions 24x7, she said.


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